MANCHESTER, NH– Looking to curb hunger in New Hampshire and to provide support as the need rises in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated more than 40,000 pounds of food to the New Hampshire Food Bank on April 9. The donation, which primarily consists of canned and packaged goods, supports the New Hampshire Food Bank’s statewide food distribution efforts. The donation was arranged by local leaders in the Granite State, where the Church has 21 congregations.
“At a time when the need is rising across New Hampshire, this donation is absolutely crucial and we cannot be more grateful for the support,” said Eileen Liponis, executive director, New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities New Hampshire. “Right now, one in nine New Hampshire residents are food insecure, meaning they do not know where their next meal will come from, but the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are very likely to push greater numbers of Granite Staters toward food insecurity. This donation will make a major impact on our ability to meet the rising need.”
“Our members in New Hampshire appreciate what the New Hampshire Food Bank does for them and their neighbors,” said Dan Billin, communications director for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in central and northern New Hampshire. “As followers of Jesus Christ, we are grateful to be able to help feed the hungry by supporting the work of the New Hampshire Food Bank.”
The food is being shipped from the Church’s central storehouses in Salt Lake City, Utah. The welfare program of the Church operates farms and processing plants throughout the United States and Canada to produce food for distribution to those in need. Funding for the welfare program is provided by Church members who fast one Sunday per month and donate the money they would have spent on food. Although this particular donation came about in the normal course of the Church’s charity work, the welfare program recently stepped up production at its canneries and food processing plants in response to the coronavirus crisis.
In response to the growing need, the New Hampshire Food Bank has increased food purchasing and is working with agencies across the state to provide critical resources and to understand where the need is greatest. In addition, the New Hampshire Food Bank established a dedicated webpage, www.nhfoodbank.org/covid-19/, to provide a secure online portal for making donations, and also to keep employees, partners and clients informed.